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Relationships Count – The Importance of AP Customer Service

Introduction

Because accounts payable touches such a wide range of stakeholders, from all the vendors, to employees, to senior management, to various governmental agencies, its operations have a tremendous, though often under-recognized, impact on the organization. Although not “customer facing” in the traditional sense, these stakeholders, nevertheless, are AP’s “customers” and AP’s customer service to them, and how they perceive it, is important to the organization. This paper posits that good customer service by accounts payable is important in three ways that have a direct bearing on profitability and operations:

#1.  Process Improvement.  AP customer service provides a window into opportunities for process improvement. Want to know where gaps are in the procure-to-pay process? Customer service calls and complaints indicate the scope of problems and point to specific process breakdowns.

#2.  Strong Supplier Relations.  Secondly, it impacts supplier relations, either positively or negatively. Empirical studies have quantified benefits of good AP customer service versus the cost of poor relationships.

#3.  Company Reputation.  Thirdly, in today’s social media environment, missteps can spin out of control very quickly, where seemingly minor anecdotal incidents become defining truths with real consequences for a company.

Read this information-packed report to:

  • Learn about AP customer service and who delivers it
  • Understand the underlying drivers of questions to deliver efficient and satisfactory customer service
  • Discover how AP customer service can fix the processes and reduce the questions
  • Free up your most experienced people by reducing questions
  • Articulate why strong supplier relations are important
  • Find out why having a great reputation prevents problems before they start

In its interactions with suppliers, AP carries a lot of responsibility. AP is a front-line representative of the company to the supplier. In some cases, given electronic catalogs and online sales systems, AP’s interaction could even be the first person-to-person contact the supplier has with the company. Read this report to learn why AP relationships are so important and why they count!

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